How to Value a Small Business for Sale

Before you can value a small business for sale, you need to understand how the industry works. Here are some ways to value a small business for sale. There are four basic methods to choose from: Market method, Multiples, Cap rate, and Distribution contract. All four methods have their own unique pros and cons, so you should carefully choose one that suits your needs. A thorough understanding of the industry and the business model is important to attracting prospective buyers.

Market method

The market method of valuing a small business for sale can be useful for determining its value. It is based on a number of similar items, such as homes. Although a house is never exactly the same, comparable sales are usually easily found. Statistics Canada has data on more than 14 million residential properties and one million small businesses. It is important to know what to expect from a business valuation.


There are two major types of multiples to consider when valuing a small business for the purpose of selling it. One is the price/earnings ratio (P/E), which measures a stock’s price relative to its earnings. A higher P/E ratio means people are willing to pay more for the company’s earnings. The other form of multiples refers to the value of the business itself. These earnings are also referred to as income or profit. Many potential buyers want to know the profits of the business they’re interested in purchasing, so these numbers should be carefully considered.

Cap rate

The cap rate is one of the most important factors to consider when valuing a small business for a potential sale. The cap rate represents the expected return on an investment, and many entrepreneurs confuse it with ROI, which is an even better metric to use when evaluating small businesses. While both numbers tell an investor what to expect, they serve different purposes. Here’s how to use the cap rate in your valuation:

Distribution contract

If you’re planning to sell your distribution business, it is best to create a team of experts who can help you navigate the process. Your team should include a CPA, attorney, and advisor with experience in the distribution industry. Too many small businesses turn to professional advisors who often charge as much as two percent of the selling price. Instead, make use of the services of a distribution expert.

Seller financing

If you are considering selling your small business, you may want to explore seller financing. This type of financing helps you pay for the business. The advantages of using this type of financing include increased chances of a successful sale, lower down payments, and the ability to obtain tax breaks. However, you should consider a few important factors before pursuing this type of financing. Below are some tips to help you get started.

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